Background: Metabolic disorders are common complications after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) and may lead to increased morbidity and mortality.
Methods: Fasting glucose and lipid metabolism, and body weight of 81 patients undergoing primary OLT were prospectively analyzed. Patients were investigated preoperatively, on postoperative days 1, 3, 5, 10, 14, 28 as well as 6 months and 1 year after OLT. Data of nonfasted patients were excluded from the analysis. Standardized definitions and classifications for diabetes mellitus (DM), body mass index (BMI), and dyslipidemia were used.
Results: Prevalence of new-onset diabetes after transplantation was 9.3%, and obesity was its only independent risk factor (odds ratio [OR], 16.5). Preoperative impaired glucose homeostasis (OR, 10.8) and initial poor graft function (OR, 6.89) were independent risk factors for postoperative DM. Maximum prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia was found on postoperative day 10 and 6 months post-OLT, respectively. Risk factors for hypercholesterolemia at 1 year were patient age (OR, 1.17) and postoperative renal dysfunction (OR, 16.33). Higher preoperative BMI was a risk factor for postoperative hypertriglyceridemia (OR, 1.17). Overall body weight and BMI significantly decreased over 1 year (P < 0.05). Prevalence of obesity was 22.2% before and 20.9% after OLT.
Conclusion: For the first time, initial poor graft function was identified as a risk factor for post-OLT DM. By ruling out any exogenous factors influencing metabolism, we believe we were able to show the true prevalence of metabolic disorders and therefore provided a valuable contribution to the identification of potential risk factors.